SO WE had the opportunity recently to 'turn back time' with the Suzuki Jimny and it was a bit of a revelation.

I am not unfamiliar with this – my daughter has one of more than a decade old – and it was eerily similar. Just a wee tart up in the dashboard and push-button engagement of four-wheel-drive and 'low' gear the main differences.

But, Suzuki has always delivered value for money – and the 'see you Jimny', as they call it in Glasgow – lives up to that.

It is not a sophisticated vehicle and has a home-spun, or is it old-fashioned feel about it. Is has been around like this since 1998 – I was at the launch! Even then, it was not 'high-tech'.

It remains quite an ungainly duck. However, take it off road and it maybe even get to being a 'cygnet', if not quite a 'swan'!

The first thing that strikes you is that this is a giraffe [zoological parallels on course] on wheels, so you have to treat its ungainly stance with respect. The potential for doing a 360 in the wrong possible way is absolutely evident – but that is maybe not the point.

There are one or two (maybe even three reasons) why you might consider buying one of these. The first is that they are very practical and get you just about anywhere off-road (forgetting going across steep inclines).

The lightweight and easy to use push-button 4 x 4 system is great, easy to use and takes this wee beast almost anywhere it wants to go. There is a reason why off-road trials specialists like it!

And another reason why people like it, is that this is one vehicle that has not pandered to the 'less view, is more safe' design mantra. You have great visibility all-round, which is another feature that works well when off-road.

The main downside for one of the more robust people, like me, is that there's not a lot of room in it. It may bring back 'fond' memories of driving Land Rover Defenders with the tightness afforded to the right arm – but at least you don't get a hernia putting on a quite 'normal' handbrake.

Don't expect, either, to get a kist in the back with the rear seats up. It's fine with the easy-fold flat rear seats – a refinement on earlier models – which boosts the carrying capacity from 113 litres to 816 litres.

Don't expect, either to be cosseted in fine fur and fabric, with teak inlays. This is not what the Jimny is about. Its Pioneer radio is one of those annoying things that has buttons so small that anyone other than a small child will have difficulty changing anything on it.

That means that, despite being a 'young people's' cheap 4 x 4, this is a mistake ... give the kids what they want, which means a touchscreen with big icons.

There's no dilemma when it comes to engine choice. It's either the 84bhp 1.3 petrol or zilch! This is not sophisticated, not punchy, but perfectly adequate for what it is, though I did do an M74 round-trip of 160 miles which proved that it was a doughty little vehicle, even on the M-ways.

Here's the big selling point – it is easy to get in and out and if you have an elderly relative that you quite like, who should not really be expected to brave the rigours of an open quad bike, then this is might be the compromise.

It doesn't have too high a step in, is easy to drive, easy to get out of and able enough to cater for quite a lot of agricultural 'needs'.

And, it is not too much more expensive than a high-end ATV. At £14,784 for SZ4 higher spec' version (leather seats, air conditioning, alloys etc), it's not a bad option, though the basic SZ3 model is priced even more keenly at £12,999. And you can go to the shops in them.